The red-hot Kemp and the Dodgers continue a four-game set at Coors Field on Friday night against the Colorado Rockies, who look to build off a late rally that helped them take the opener.
Kemp was a single short of his first career cycle and knocked in three for Los Angeles (29-35), which squandered a pair of four-run leads in a 9-7 loss Thursday. Kemp’s homer, a solo shot, was his NL-leading 18th of the season.
On the first seven games of the trip, Kemp is hitting .500 with five homers and 13 RBIs. Los Angeles, though, has gone just 3-4, and is tied with San Diego for last in the NL West.
“It turned out to be a hitter’s matchup today,” Kemp said. “They just scored more runs and out-hit us basically, not too much to say.”
The Rockies are in position to win three straight for the first time since a season-high seven-game run April 9-15 that propelled the team to an 11-2 start.
Kemp is just 3 for 20 with six strikeouts against Jhoulys Chacin(notes), who gets the start for Colorado on Friday. After beginning 2011 with two sparkling performances at home, Chacin (6-4, 3.19 ERA) hasn’t won there since.
The right-hander limited the Dodgers to five hits over seven innings of a 3-0 win April 5, then tossed a six-hitter to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-0 on April 15. However, Chacin has gone 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA in five games since then.
He improved to 4-1 away from home by pitching six effective innings in a 2-1 win over San Francisco on Saturday.
“He struggled with his command a little bit but when he needed to make pitches, he made pitches,” the Giants’ Cody Ross(notes) said of Chacin, who has alternated wins and losses in four career home starts against the Dodgers while posting a 2.59 ERA.
The right-hander lasted just three innings April 6 at Coors, giving up five runs and six hits with three walks in Los Angeles’ 7-5 loss. That dropped Billingsley’s record in Denver to 1-4 with a 7.24 ERA in six games.
He beat Colorado on May 30 in Los Angeles, allowing a run and 11 hits in seven innings in a 7-1 win.
Billingsley had a passable outing on the mound, but was better at the plate Sunday. He surrendered four runs in five innings, but helped his own cause by going 2 for 2 with a solo homer and three RBIs in a 9-6 win over Cincinnati.
“My hitting was a little bit better than the pitching today,” Billingsley, who’s 7 for 23 this season, told the Dodgers’ official website.